Our prediction for this Euro 2024 match:
Windsor Park will host Tuesday’s Euro 2024 qualifier between Northern Ireland and Slovenia. The Green and White Army missed out on a spot at the next year’s European Championship finals, but it is well known that Michael O’Neill’s troops always leave their hearts on the field. There are no fresh injury worries in the home team, but St. Mirren forward Conor McMenamin could sneak into the starting XI after scoring as a substitute in a 3-0 win over San Marino.
The Slovenians, on the other hand, are eager to retain top position in the standings and given their excellent performance in a 3-0 triumph over Finland, away win should definitely be considered. A man to keep an eye on in the away team will be Benjamin Sesko, who scored a brace in the last group game. Matjaz Kek has no fresh injury worries ahead of the trip to Belfast.
Highlighted Player (Paddy McNair):
Following in the footsteps of his compatriot Jonny Evans, Paddy McNair joined the Manchester United academy in 2011 and he was surprisingly handed first team debut by Louis van Gaal at the start of the 2014/2015 season.
Despite his fragile age, the talented central defender has been putting in some very mature performances ever since, and everything suggests he could go on to become an important player at Old Trafford in years to come. After representing a number of youth sides, McNair made his first appearance for the Northern Ireland senior national team in a March 2015 friendly vs Scotland, before making another three outings as his side secured their place at the Euro 2016 finals.
Northern Ireland coach Michael O’Neill surprisingly played McNair in holding midfield in the March 2016 friendly vs Wales. After the youngster impressed in the middle of the park, O’Neill went on to suggest that the Manchester United starlet may be used in midfield rather than defence in years to come in the national team.
Highlighted Team (Slovenia):
Slovenia have been competing on the international stage following the split of Yugoslavia in 1991. The Slovenians were outclassed by France in their first unofficial match (0-5), whilst they shared the spoils with Estonia in their first official game (1-1).
The former Yugoslav republic participated at three major football tournaments, with the team making it to the FIFA World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea (2002) and South Africa 2010, whilst booking their place at the Euro 2000 which was hosted by Netherlands and Belgium. Slovenia, though, have yet to make it to the knockout stages of the major tournament and that remains their unfulfilled dream.
Srecko Katanec and Zlatko Zahovic are regarded as the most famous footballers who played for the Slovenian national football team and they were part of Slovenia’s “Golden generation”. The Slovenians, who recorded their biggest win against Oman in 1999, welcome their rivals at Ljudski vrt in Stozice and the capacity of the venue is 12.702.